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When you’re in a new role or you work for a startup, it can be hard to win over new clients. You might have the enthusiasm, but your prospects don’t want to be the guinea pig. That’s where using social proof comes in.

Using social proof effectively can help you overcome that hesitation your prospects might experience. Using it poorly will indicate that you don’t know the industry well or you haven’t done your research.

So here’s my three strategies for using social proof effectively.

Demonstrate that you solve a problem

Every product or service has to solve a problem. We’ve talked about this before. Tap into your history with your clients, and share how you’ve solved the same problem your prospect is facing.

Having that information on your website is effective, sure. But if you can produce those testimonials in a sales presentation, that social proof is especially powerful. It will immediately put your prospect at ease to know that you’ve solved their problem before.

As you progress through your career, you will build up a database of these stories to share. Use them over and over again with your prospects. Have them memorized. The better you are at telling those stories, the more convincing they become to your prospects.

Share a relevant case study

Now you may be so new that you don’t have lots of examples yet, and that’s okay too. Instead of using proof from existing customers, find relevant case study to share.

When a prospect sees that the problem they have is industry-wide and you have the tool to fix it, they’re more likely to take a risk on a new brand.

Again, you want to be able to share these case studies often, so have them memorized. Tell them the same way to each client so you can be well-versed in this powerful way to use social proof.

Tap into your customer base

I always recommend that you treat your clients with the utmost respect. Even if you close an account or a client moves on to another company, stay in professional contact with the clients who you’ve served well. That will serve you well when you need social proof.

Tap into that network of satisfied customers to be an advocate for your brand. Find one or two people whom you can introduce to this new prospect. those satisfied customers can share their experience with the prospect.

Don’t just shoot an email introducing the two parties. Instead, send an email to the customer and ask if they’d be willing to share their experience working with you and your product/service.

I’d recommend directing the customer to address the following topics in their conversation with the prospect:

  • Why did you choose to work with me?
  • What problem did we solve?
  • How has my product/service impacted your business so far?

A final reminder

Using social proof is only the beginning. You have to make sure you’re spending time with the right prospect. Social proof won’t get you anywhere if your prospects aren’t qualified.

When making contacts, you need to follow the details of your ideal client avatar. It’s not just about making more calls and contacts.  It’s about knowing who your client is and going after the right customer.

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